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from washington, the "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. >> "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by siemens. across the country we're building answers for hospitals, utilities, cities, and
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them to last. siemens. answers. i take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right. >> secretary of state hillary clinton gave the details of that responsibility this week
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at two congressional hearings. one in the senate, one in the house. on what happened at the u.s. consulate at benghazi, libya, four and a half months ago on september 11th. four americans were killed in the attack, including the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens. secretary clinton became emotional as she described the scene at andrews air force base in maryland just outside washington, d.c. >> i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters and the wives left alone to raise their children. >> in libya, before the attack, ambassador stevens cabled the state department, asking for more security. at the hearing, the secretary was asked about how this request and others like them from the u.s. embassy in libya
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were handled. >> the specific security requests pertaining to benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. i didn't see those requests. they didn't come to me. i didn't approve them, i didn't deny them. >> hearing this, senator rand paul on the senate foreign relations committee said this to the secretary. >> had i been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you of your post. i think it's inexcusable. >> >> we were misled that there were supposedly protests, then something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the american people could have known that within days, and they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans. >> i understand. >> was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk who decided they'd go kill some americans?
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what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and can to preve happening again, senator. >> is she right? what difference does it make? or is she wrong? >> i think it does make a difference, john, but i think she handled herself extremely well. there are three questions. why was security not provided despite the pleas. why was help not sent to these guys over seven hours of attacks, and what is responsible for the massive cover-up and fake stories about this video, anti-muslim video. she said to the third, i had nothing to do with the talking points, nothing to do with the military, i take responsibility for the lack of security. however, all these memos and cables that came, they all didn't come into my office personally, but i take responsibility. i think she handled it well, john. and the issue i think is pretty much gone now, and the republicans did it not succeed in what they were trying to cue. >> how would you describe hillary clinton at the house and the senate hearings? what kind of an adjective would
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you use? >> i would say she was commanding, i would say she was presidential. she came across very much as someone who is shouldering responsibility but she also avoided taking any of the blame. that was a very good balancing act, and she handled all of the questioning, and i thought she brought some reality to this. the republicans say, the state department could easily have known what was happening. first of all, what we've learned since is this outpost was basically a cia operation. you don't talk about these things in public. the right wing had this fantasy that they were watching the demonstrations and the attack unfold in real-time on video. none of that happened. and she, i think, really turned back the notion that this was a minutive event on the part of the administration to deny that this was a terrorist attack.
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this was basically something that happened in a very chaotic situation. the republicans tried to turn it into watergate, and it didn't work. >> she also waited a few months, which is not what sun rice did, and susan rice got into deep trouble. in other words, shmonths. >> she had nothing to do with the aftermath, john. >> who didn't? >> susan rice. that's all the aftermath. >> you don't understand me. susan rice went on television early. >> she was sent out to do it. >> she, did and hillary waited, and she did -- that helped her in this presentation. >> she escaped the initial heat of all this, and she had a lot of time to think of a good way to kind of get out of the blame game here. and really, this hearing, i think the wfort thing about this hearing, aside from the politics, we still walked away without any answers. there are, yes, four dead americans, one of whom was pleading for extra help, extra security from the state department, and he didn't get
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it. and there were no clear answers as to why. all we got out of it was that hillary clinton was not to blame. >> hillary clinton has traveled almost a million miles since she's been secretary of state. that means she's been absent from the state debt. however, with modern technology that should be no problem, but there is something missing when there is no physical presence. do you think that there should be some -- this is a serious question. there should be some evolution, either in our thinking about the role of no other person in her position has traveled that much and been away that much. should she be -- should that be a presidential envoy special assignment, special condition separate from her cabinet position? >> you know, in that particular role, dealing with our foreign policy, there is no substitute for having the secretary of state develop personal relationships and get a direct feel from the people that she is trying to deal with and trying to move towards an
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american position, whatever that may be, so i don't think you can do it. i don't think you can send a substitute. it just goes with the territory. the secretary of state has to be prepared to travel all around the world. those personal relationships are critical for the ability of the united states to bring people along with her. >> she stands alone. no other secretary of state has ever traveled that much. they've never been away that much. >> maybe not that much, but secretaries of state have been traveling a heck of a lot more over the last few years. >> are you saying she has redefined the secretary of state position and role? >> no, no, no. >> i think what she does is a part and has been a part of the secretary of state role -- >> i bet they haven't even traveled a quarter of the miles. >> john, you ought to have somebody there -- >> she surpassed a predecessor, i think it was madeline al bright who held the record. >> what was albright's record? >> this is a million miles. >> excuse me, hillary just passed that record in the last couple of months.
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so it's not that big a deal. >> john what you're saying -- >> pat, please, i would like to finish. >> go ahead. >> in terms of the accountability here, there was an accountability aboard that she appear pointed that reported, that calls for like 29 different reforms which goes step by step where it was broken down, and maybe she should have read those cables, and i would hope that john kerry -- >> she doesn't have to. with the enhanced technology we have. >> john, let me talk to your point. >> she is not going to read every cable. >> the cable was addressed to her. we have a copy of the cable on this broadcast. >> john, let me talk to your point. you're exactly right. if she is going to do this million miles of travel there ought to be an executive deputy of hers at the state department in the building. >> i'm sure she had that. >> why didn't he or she have the cables and read them? >> the problem is -- >> people lost their jobs over this. >> this is all the nitty-gritty here. the overall problem with what happened in libya was that the
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obama administration didn't want us to be heavily armed there because we were trying to develop a relationship and they wanted to look as though we were, you know, on friendlier > africa. let's get into that. africa. what's the big picture? >> benghazi did not happen in a vacuum. the arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. instability in mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to expand their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in algeria. >> what happened last week in algeria, north africa, was the murder of at least 37 hostages, including three americans at the militants attack a natural gas plant in the eastern part of the country. the al-qaida splinter group called the signers with blood brigade claimed responsibility.
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question is the volatility in north africa an outcome of the arab spring, or does it predate the arab spring? patrick. >> john, some of it predates the arab spring, but what this shows, and what the hillary thing was about, the complete disaster of what we done libya. we dumped over this corrupt dictator and all these forces moved out of there. they went into mali. you have al-qaida in the mob grab moving through that, they're in mauretania and niger. the point of this is the administration covered up the fact that al-qaida was not on the run, it was not on the path to defeat, it was responsible for what happened in benghazi, and it is all over the place now. >> we're letting the french handle things now. i think it's more kind of leading from behind on foreign policy, and it's incredibly dangerous, because as pat was saying, al-qaida is not on the run, they're on the rise, and
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nothing is being done about it. >> al-qaida central has been virtually decimated, but what they espouse, or all over the place, i think the administration -- you have to be engaged but you handle in a different way. they're not going to put boots on the ground. ey're going to assist the french. the french have more of an interest in mali than we do. you are going to see more use, probably of drones. the administration is not ignoring this area. all of the critics are out there saying do this, do this, do this. like what? nobody really has any great answers. >> i have a question for you. africa is rich in natural resources. the chinese know that. the chinese have penetrated a lot of africa. are we missing the boat? >> well, i don't know that we're missing the boat, but certainly china is in a very different position than us, and they have the people who can go in there and live in that kind of environment. >> what does that mean? >> it means it's a much more
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difficult owe. >> no, what does it mean about the chinese you're talking about? >> they have a huge appetite for the natural resources. >> and we don't? >> oh no, we do, but we have other resources. the fact that this is something that gives them a primary call on a lot of resources of the region. they've put in a lot of money. we haven't been willing to do that. >> we have two reasons for being there. one, africa is a central front with al kay dan. number two, these resources that we really have not been attending to in any fashion resem bling the chinese. >> that's true. >> chinese will deal with anybody. they're right there in the sudan. they will go and deal with anybody. >> they were in africa early. >> they put cash on the barrel head. they're all over latin america, all over africa, john. they are dealing in a commercial mercantile way with these regimes, and we have a foreign policy that deals of of
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israel. meet yahir lapide. >> a new arrival on the scene is and personality lapide who leads israel. why has netanyahu lost steam? >> this is a very interesting revolution. there's no doubt but this election, in fact with the defeat for netanyahu. >> meaning what? he won the election. >> he may be the next prime minister. his party went down. >> who, yahir? >> no, netanyahu's own party went down from 42 seats to 31 seats. so his party had fewer seats. this guy came out of nowhere. his first time running for office. he got 19 seats. he became the most -- the second most important party in -- out of nowhere. so he has become the star of this thing. and netanyahu is going to have to make a deal with him. all of the politicians are splintered but it's never been
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like this. now netanyahu is going to have to move, if i may say so, this is now a center right. it is going to be much more pragmatic and open. >> how long is his term? >> five years, isn't it? >> it can be as much as five years but it almost never lasts five years because the coalition breaks up. >> how long do you think he will be prime minister? >> i think the next three years at least. >> what happened to ohlmert? >> in my judgment if he had been prime minister or sharon, or rabin, you would have had a settlement in the israeli palestine. >> he did not exactly come out of nowhere. he's been a popular on-camera broadcaster. his father created a centrist party. he looks like an israeli george clooney and has captured the imagination of the young. his main issue was the ultra orthodox should not be exempt from military service, so i think he is a critical player here going forward. >> i just want to know whether
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netanyahu -- >> no, john. >> not now. >> i think netanyahu may be on the way out. we will see how this government works. >> john, he is going to put together a coalition. >> it's political pressure from his within his own cabinet. it is not going to be from the right. >> it is going to be from the right. look, you've got lapide's party, netanyahu, his own partner in there, and the shah's party is going to be there. issue two. inauguration day. >> we, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our fore bearers through seneca falls and selma and stonewall, just it is a guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall to hear a
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preacher say that we cannot walk alone, to hear a king proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth. >> on inauguration day, monday, president barack obama gave his second inaugural address to the nation. it ran 18 minutes and was delivered before a throng of >> question was president obama's speech unabashedly liberal? i ask you, susan. >> of course. everything he said from talking about gay marriage, immigration reform. all these things part and parcel of the liberal agenda. if anything, a lot of people saying, if you are reading twitter, wow this is surprising that he is willing to go right into gay marriage. he's the first person in an inaugural speech to say the word gay. it was very liberal. >> this is the problem that the republicans face. if they think all these great issues of the day are solely the province of the democratic
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party and liberalism, they are never going to win another election. i say the president did a great job rooting these ideals and these values in the great traditions of the past and referencing them to the founding fathers, talking about what dwight eisenhower did. >> hold on, pat. >> it was a stirring piece that will go down in history. >> if you think the stone wall riot in a gay brash in greenwich village can be traced all the way back to bunker hill and the founding fathers you don't read what the founding fathers believed or say. >> let's play another bite of the president. excuse me. let's play another bite of at the present time, a living document. >> the president alluded frequently to the u.s. constitution. the nation's founding document. one that the president made clear is not set in stone. >> we have always understood that when times change, so must we. that fidelity to our founding
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principles requires new responses to new challenges. being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. it does not mean we all define liberty inexactly the same way. or follow the same precise path to happiness. progress does not compel us to settle centuries long debate about the role of government for all-time, but it does require us to act in our time. >> question. given this passage is there any doubt in your mind that president obama's view is that the u.s. constitution is antiquated? >> i wouldn't say antiquated but i would say that it's pastime for people to hide behind the constitution and fail to face the challenges of today. and the most immediate issue that comes to mind, of course, is gun violence. and to rely on a second amendment that basically talks
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about creation -- creating militias to put down rebellion to apply that today to an unfettered right to have assault weapons with 30 or 60 rounds so you can go out and gun down little children, that then the constitution can be interpreted in a more elastic way. >> don't you think he's doing us a favor by remaining us that it is a living document and it must be accommodated to the conditions of today, but that doesn't necessarily has to be ripped apart or ignored in any respect. >> i agree with both sides of what you just said but it is a living document. it has been evolving throughout the history of this country. the courts ultimately are going to be the deciders, as we say, over how far it can go and how far government can go, but there is no doubt but we allow this constitution and nurture this constitution as a living document because conditions change in the country. >> but, john, he is claiming, i mean, eleanor calls it his ref liewrks and she's right, but
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the roots on gay rights, modern feminism and all the rest go back to the nineteen sick. they do not go back to the constitution of the united states, which was written by people that did not believe in equality. >> are they consistent with the constitution? >> the wordy quality is not in the constitution, it's not tin bill of rights and not tin federalists papers. >> does that many it's excluded from the thinking of the founding fatters? >> the revolution is a modern thing and cannot betrayed back. >> does it mean that as a living document you can find it in the constitution but it is not going to be obvious? >> he can put it in the constitution by subterfuge but it is not there. >> revolution is not a modern thing. revolution goes back to the beginning of this country. and when you -- >> and you cannot after document -- >> let susan in. >> the tone, when talking about the constitution during that speech was a little dismissive like, yeah, there's a constitution, but we can work around it. >> do you share that view? did she use the -- she used the word dismissive. >> i think she's exactly right.
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>> do you think so? >> it was ref rential. >> you do think so. was it dismissive at all? >> no, reverential. >> this is a constitutional document so we have to pay it appropriate reverence, but it cannot be frozen, otherwise our country would come to a halt. so it is the role of government and ultimately the role of the courts as we saw in the 1930s to allow -- >> point of fact, we have treated it as a living document. >> absolutely. >> but it works. nevertheless. because the seeds of what -- of these -- for example, the women's right to vote and all that, all of that is there, but it's -- so it's not really antiquated in the -- it's living, but that's the point he wanted to make. >> if we didn't allow it to be issue three. combative women? >> general dempsey and i are pleased to announce that we are
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eliminating the direct ground combat exclusion rule for women. >> defense secretary leon panetta, joined by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey, announced this week an end to the 1-year 1994 prohibition that excludes military women from military combat. in so doing, the u.s. joins other western countries, germany, italy, canada, denmark, finland, norway, sweden, serbia, switzerland, israel, even new zealand, already allow women in combat roles and frontline positions. out of the more than 6,400 total americans killed in iraq and afghanistan, at least 130 american women have been killed in the line of fire. and the number of american women wounded is over 800. soon, women will be able to
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fight back on the front lines and in elite special forces, but women will have to meet the same strength standards as men if they choose a combat role. senator john mccain, vietnam war hero, and tortured as a prisoner of war, favors the women in combat role. but adds this. "it is critical that we maintain the same high standards that have made the american military the most feared and admired fighting force in the world. particularly the rigorous physical standards for our elite special forces units." allowing women in combat roles will open up more than 200,000 jobs to women, mostly in the army and marine corps. the plan is to be drawn up by may and implemented over three years. combat experience, by the way is considered a prerequisite to jobs in the top military brass. question, will the new pentagon
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policy on women in combat adversely affect military readiness? yes or no. susan ferrechio. >> i think the jury is still out. it is interesting what some in the military have said, that it could be a problem, create tension on the front lines. i think what senator mccain said, if you read closely his comments, we still have to maintain our superlative status as a military, and we can't let policy changes get in the way. of course, i empathize with women who want to be on the front lines fighting but i think first and foremost we have to preserve our superior military and make sure this doesn't change that dynamic in some way, which it could. >> susan, did you see that list it of countries that now have women in this role? >> you've got the number one military in the role. not those countries. our military. >> because women are excluded? >> no, because we've managed to stay number one, and i'm saying we need to stay number one and not let policy changes get in the way. >> women have proven themselves on the battlefield in the
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nature of warfare in iraq and afghanistan have made the lifting of this ban inevitable. women are not attached to combat units, they're not assigned. which means they're out there, out of time. bye-bye! minds, best sources, hardest talk. >> "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by siemens. across the country we're building answers for hospitals, utilities, cities, and
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Mc Laughlin Group
PBS January 26, 2013 12:30pm-1:00pm PST

News/Business. (2013) New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Africa 7, Libya 6, U.s. 6, John 5, Us 5, Benghazi 5, Siemens 3, Israel 3, United States 2, Netanyahu 2, Susan Rice 2, Algeria 2, Washington 2, North Africa 2, Afghanistan 2, Iraq 2, John Mccain 1, Yahir 1, Pat 1, John Kerry 1
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